Wittgenstein on understanding and interpretation (comments on the work of Thomas morawetz)

Philosophical Investigations 29 (2):129–139 (2006)
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Wittgenstein's distinction between understanding and interpretation is fundamental to the account of meaning in _Philosophical Investigations. In his discussion of rule-following, Wittgenstein explicitly rejects the idea that understanding or grasping a rule is a matter of interpretation. Wittgenstein explains meaning and rule-following in terms of action, rejecting both realist and Cartesian accounts of the mental. I argue that in his effort to employ Wittgenstein's views on meaning and rule-following, Professor Morawetz embraces the position Wittgenstein rejects. In the course of making his case for law as a "deliberative practice", Professor Morawetz embraces interpretation as a fundamental element of human practices, thereby taking up precisely the view Wittgenstein rejects



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Dennis Patterson
University of Surrey

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